Arts & Culture

Arts & culture

Despite a title which might lead you to believe otherwise, Good Time is not an easy-going, popcorn flick; the gritty, pulp thriller falls into a genre that could be described as "movies about very, very bad nights."

Robert Pattinson plays Connie Nikas, a small-time criminal trying to get his brother Nick out of jail after a bank robbery gone wrong.

Sometimes musicians write a song for a cause. Sometimes, the cause chooses the song.

Today we're heading to Nashville to hang with a band that sounds nothing like what you might expect from Nashville: a new-wave-ish party band called Republican Hair. The band draws inspiration from the sounds of the 1980s — in particular from Prince. And as band leader Luke Dick tells us, they're having a pretty great time with it.

In this session, I'm bringing a little bit of my hometown of Toronto to you by way of The Wooden Sky. The band first blew me away at a live show about a decade ago. And then I realized the very tall lead singer looked familiar – hey, that guy was a teaching assistant in my radio production class back at University.

While on holiday in Rome five years ago, Devon Akmon, director of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Mich., took a food tour in a neighborhood known for its culinary traditions. He walked around for hours, tasting samples and hearing the personal stories of shop owners. That experience sparked the idea of establishing walking food tours in metro Detroit, home to the largest concentrated Arab community in the United States.

Although I was put off by the Hitlerian title and massive self-absorption of Karl Ove Knausgaard's six-volume, 3,600-page confessional novel, My Struggle, accolades from trusted colleagues convinced me to set it aside for a rainy day — which, truthfully, might mean the next Flood. In the meantime, I picked up Autumn, the first in a planned seasonal quartet of meditative reflections, with hopes that it would provide a more modest, accessible introduction to Knausgaard's work. More modest, yes.

A lot of people already know the story of Friday Night Lights, in which a West Texas high school fights for the state football title. It started as a nonfiction book, then it became a movie (with Billy Bob Thornton as the coach) and finally a TV series. In the film, Thornton tells his team that to win state, they'll have to beat "a team of monsters" from Carter High School in Dallas (which they fail to do).

It's a summer evening on the French Atlantic island of Noirmoutier. As the sun shimmers on the rustling marsh grasses, Hervé Zarka rakes in sea salt from shallow pools. He uses a simoussi, a 10-foot pole tipped with a flat board. Salt has been harvested this way since at least the seventh century, when Benedictine monks dug the canals that bring seawater into this marshland.

The push for renewable energy in the U.S. often focuses on well-established sources of electricity: solar, wind and hydropower. Off the coast of California, a team of researchers is working on what they hope will become an energy source of the future — macroalgae, otherwise known as kelp.

Author Karl Ove Knausgaard — known for his six-volume autobiographical series, My Struggle — has embarked on a brand new multi-part project. Autumn, the first in a four-part quartet, is a collection of texts, each focused on a single subject.

In these short studies, Knausgaard considers a wide variety of tangible and intangible topics — apples, wasps, silence, jellyfish, fingers, forgiveness, dawn.

Brent Deppe is taking me on a tour of the farm supply business, called Key Cooperative, that he helps to manage in Grinnell, Iowa. We step though the back door of one warehouse, and our view of the sky is blocked by a gigantic round storage tank, painted white.

"This is the liquid nitrogen tank," Deppe explains. "It's a million-and-a-half gallon tank."

Nitrogen is the essential ingredient for growing corn and most other crops. Farmers around here spread it on their fields by the truckload.

With guest host Stephen Henderson.

Our decisions about what to eat are driven by much more than hunger. Social trends, agricultural science and multimillion-dollar industries can make certain vegetables hip or carbs passé, while concerns for overall health sit on the sidelines.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Rarely does bifurcation sound so intertwined. El Origen, a collaborative EP released last month, is like looking at the Andes from two different angles at the exact same time. Rodrigo Gallardo and Nicola Cruz's visions exist on alternate, yet intrinsically connected, planes.

On May 25, 1978, a package exploded at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., injuring a security guard. It was the first of a series of 16 bombings that would occur over the next 17 years, killing three people and injuring many others. The suspect in the case, a shadowy figure who frequently used the U.S. mail to send his homemade explosives, became known as the "Unabomber."

In 2015, Kiana Hayeri was living in Kabul and noticed something strange. She was helping her roommate, an Australian TV producer, with a script translation. The main character, a mother of three who divorces her abusive husband, was always described in a way that referred to a male relative.

On paper, few things may seem more navel-gazing than a memoir about being in a book club. But Anne Gisleson takes that ostensibly narrow premise and goes universal in her debut book, The Futilitarians. She writes about her time spent in a circle of friends who call themselves the Existential Crisis Reading Group — nicknamed The Futilitarians. Their portmanteau of "futility" and "utilitarian," while playful on the surface, isn't chosen lightly: They gather regularly to read and discuss books, as well as their lives, in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Whatever time it is where you're listening right now, let's pretend for a minute that it's the early '90s, 3 a.m. You're somewhere in the New York area, tuned in to WKCR, absolutely glued to your radio because you're hearing explosive live performances by artists you don't know, but who you know are soon to be something big. We're talking Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, KRS-One, The Fugees, Fat Joe, DMX, Nas, and Wu-Tang Clan members Ghostface Killa and Method Man.

Moments like that happened weekly on the radio show hosted by my guests Stretch and Bobbito.

The Antifa Handbook

Aug 21, 2017

With guest host Stephen Henderson.

In the wake of Saturday’s violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, condemnations of the marchers’ cause came quickly.

Except from the White House. In remarks Saturday and in the following days, President Donald Trump made references to “many sides” and violent responses from counter-protesters. Conservative critics were more explicit in pinning some blame for violence on Antifa.

The Environmental Defense Fund opened an office near Walmart's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., 10 years ago. It was part of a carefully plotted strategy to persuade the giant retailer that going green could be good for business. If it worked, it certainly could be good for the planet — Walmart's revenues are bigger than the entire economy of most countries.

"We really saw that working with companies could be transformative at a scale that was pretty unmatched," says Suzy Friedman, a senior director at EDF.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Actress Pamela Adlon has grown a successful TV career over decades, without ever becoming the stereotype of a tabloid starlet hounded by paparazzi. She starred in Californication, co-created Louie with comedian Louis C.K., and won an Emmy for her voice-over work as 12-year-old Bobby Hill on the animated show King of the Hill. Now she's doing the most personal work of her life, with the comedy, Better Things.

The artist Chronixx, born Jamar McNaughton, is 24 years old. But he's already been hailed as the leader of Jamaica's roots revival moment: an island-wide return to old-school reggae.

Comedian, actor and director Jerry Lewis died Sunday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 91.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Daniel Begay, who is Navajo, had always been told growing up that traditional American Indian foods were good for him.

But because most American Indians are lactose intolerant, "they aren't getting that same source of calcium from dairy products," Begay says.

Turns out that it's a traditional cooking method that is key to his bone health. The Navajo burn juniper branches, collect the ash and stir it into traditional dishes. The most popular: blue corn mush.

We're recapping Season 7 of HBO's Game of Thrones here on Monkey See. We'll try to turn them around overnight, so look for them first thing on Mondays. And of course: Spoilers abound.

A supersized episode this week, 70! Glorious! Minutes! Of walking and bonding and mauling and wight-snatching and deus-ex-machining. It starts with the credits map, on which we once again scooch sideways from Castle Black over to Eastwatch, as so much of this week's action takes place just a hop, skip and a Gendry-jog north of it.

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